The Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) through their Microsystems Technology Office is working to develop clinically viable technologies to enable wounded service members to control state-of-the-art prosthetic limbs. DARPA often selects their research efforts through the Board Agency Announcement (BAA) process.
In order to accomplish this goal, DARPA wants to see reliable in-vivo Central Nervous System (CNS) motor-signal recording and sensory-signal stimulating interfaces developed. For the purposes of this BAA, the CNS is defined to include the brain down to but not including the dorsal (sensory) and ventral (motor) roots.
Despite the challenges, recent technological advances now make it possible to develop high-channel-count CNS interfaces that can reliably provide the amount of motor-control information needed for amputees to accurately and quickly control many DOF prosthetic limbs needed to perform the activities of daily living both in military and civilian life.
The Funding Opportunity (DARPA-BAA-11-37) was posted March 30, 2011 with the proposal due on May 16, 2011. It is anticipated that $18 million with multiple awards will be awarded.
For more information, go to www.fbo.gov or go to www.grants.gov.